What we are going to cook….
“Let eat be” is the first gastronomic event by AEGEE-Catania. The main components of the event are FIVE COOKING LESSONS by a Sicilian chef. It follows a description of the dishes we will learn to prepare:
Arancini or arancine are fried (or, less commonly, baked) rice balls coated with breadcrumbs, said to have originated in Sicily in the 10th century. Arancini are usually filled with ragù (meat sauce), tomato sauce, mozzarella, and/or peas.
There are a number of local variants that differ in fillings and shape. The name derives from the food’s shape and color, which is reminiscent of an orange (the Italian word for orange is arancia, and arancina means “little orange”).
PASTA ALLA NORMA
Regional name: Pasta Cca Norma
Pasta alla Norma is one of the most famous Sicilian recipes in the world. It really embodies the flavors of the island. It is named after Vincenzo Bellini’s opera “Norma”. This is a delicious vegetarian dish, that uses a lot of the best ingredients of Sicily – eggplant, ricotta salata (typical cheese) and basil. And it’s a snap to make.
Parmigiana (a short form of Parmigiana di melanzane) is a Southern Italian dish made with a shallow-fried sliced filling, layered with cheese and tomato sauce, then baked. Parmigiana made with a filling of eggplant (aubergine) is the earliest version.
The dish is claimed by both Campania and Sicily. While “parmigiana” usually means “from Parma” (in Northern Italy), the dish is not part of the cuisine of Parma. It is a Southern Italian dish.
Tiramisù (lit. “pick me up”) is an Italian cake and dessert. It is made of ladyfingers (Italian: Savoiardi) dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of egg yolks and mascarpone, and flavored with liquor and cocoa. The recipe has been adapted into many varieties of puddings, cakes and other desserts. The translation of the name Italian “tirami sù” means “pick-me-up” (metaphorically, “make me happy”). This may refer to the caffeine in the espresso and effect of cocoa used in the recipe.
SARDE A BECCAFICO
This is a typical Sicilian dish made of fresh sardines filled with our traditional ingredients: breadcrumbs, olive oil, pine nuts and raisins. Beccafico (which is a little bird similar to a warbler or quail, literally means beak figs). These were little birds called so because they liked to beak figs. In ancient times, Sicilian Nobles used to hunt and eat them. They said that their meat was nice and tender so they were eating them with all the guts.
The poor people having more sardines than birds started to cook them adding some lemon and orange juice to the filling, to mitigate the strong smell and taste of the fish.
Regional name: capunata
Caponata is a Sicilian aubergine (eggplant) dish consisting of a cooked vegetable salad made from chopped fried eggplant and celery seasoned with sweetened vinegar, with capers in a sweet and sour sauce. Numerous local variations of the ingredients exist with some versions adding olives, carrots and green bell peppers, and others adding potatoes, or pine nuts and raisins.
The Sicilian antipasto known as caponata is said to be of Spanish origin. The Sicilian food authority Pino Correnti believes that the dish is derived from the Catalan word “caponada”, meaning a similar kind of relish, and says it first appears in a Sicilian etymology of 1709. This Catalan word, which literally means “something tied together like vines,” can also refer to an enclosure where animals are fattened for slaughter.
Today, caponata is typically used as a side dish for fish dishes and sometimes as an appetizer, but since the 1700s it has also been used as a main course.
PASTA CON LE SARDE
Regional name: pasta chi sardi
The Pasta con Sarde is a traditional Sicilian dish with sardines that is made all over the island, using the same ingredients and differing in the various ways it is prepared. It is mostly often cooked from February to the end of May, because the wild fennels are tender and abundant in this period and the sardines are fished in large quantities.
In Palermo this dish is called Pasta di San Giuseppe and it is a tradition to cook the Pasta con Sarde on March 19, when Saint Joseph is celebrated. The Pasta con Sarde is made up with the local, ordinary and available ingredients. The unconventional blend of different flavors and aromas, the colour and smell of saffron makes this exceptional pasta a favourite dish among the gourmets and food lovers.
RISOTTO CON VERDURE E SCAMORZA AFFUMICATA
SCALOPPINE AL LIMONE
An Italian who says “Scaloppine” generally means veal escalopes, thin slices of veal cut from the leg (round) that are quick and easy to prepare, and are also healthy — low in fat, and thus easy on the digestion; and tasty which explains its popularity.
One of the most common recipes with veal escalopes is Scaloppine al Limone, made with lemon juice. However, there are also many variations on the theme.
This is enough to make you a good Sicilian cook in few steps!